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Good teaching practices are drilled into us at every teacher inservice. One of the good teaching practices harped on is limited lecture time. The average attention span for optimal learning is one minute per year of age. Therefore the average ten year old child has a ten minute attention span. (Note: this does not apply to entertainment.) The maximum attention span for optimal adult learning is 30 minutes, max.

Add to the above facts the knowledge that the most productive learning comes from doing, not hearing, and it becomes clear that lecturing is not the most effective way to teach. Teachers know this. So, since teachers know this, and teacher’s lead teacher inservices, why did I jus sit through two full days of teacher inservice lecture classes supposedly designed to make me a better, more effective teacher?

My butt is numb. I have a headache. I am glassy-eyed, and drool is dripping from the corner of my mouth. Teacher, can I pass out now?

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. ROFL!

    My school district has actually solved that problem. We have half days ALL the time. My extended family always asks me about my son’s spring break. His spring break is that he gets out 2 hours early Monday and Wednesday (inservice hours for the teachers), full days on Tuesday and Thursday, and off all day Friday. And there’s an all new feature to keep us on our toes- late start. Late starts screw with bus families because we never know what time they will get there. I know it’s hard to believe, but I think this might be worse. At least you get it over with in large chunks.

  2. Wow, Quilly, no wonder I have trouble – I don’t even have an hour’s attention span! 🙂 Did they realize they were asking you to be paying attention a lot longer than your attention span!?!?!? lol

  3. Bill — anymore, my weekends don’t necessarily mean rest.

    Brig — we still have one half day per month!

    Jackie — if they don’t realize it, it is because their attention spans are too short to even process what they teach.

  4. YAY! The stuff I DON’T have to go through as a SUB! Thanks so much for making me feel better about life! LOL! And yes Quilly… go ahead and pass out now!

  5. Made it halfway through the second sentence before something shiny caught my eye and I was done. Why, just the other day I was……….hey, what’s that over there? Bye……

  6. Oh the irony.

    People running inservices would hate me. If they were losing me, I would purposely act like a bored, antsy student. I’d complain vocally about how we were talking about engaging students but that I wasn’t engaged.

    Finally, someone took notice and worked with a group to improve the delivery of these sessions. Then they decided it was too much work and reverted back to the old boring lecture-style of doing things. *rolls eyes*

  7. Mumma — one of the other teachers and I got a bit ansy in the last lecture and acted like unruly students. I wasn’t bored in the math lecture because it was “hands-on” AND she passed out several pages of algebra problems, which I worked during one of the other lectures. (There were 4 in all.)

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